Military Plane Accidentally Airdrops Humvee Over Rural North Carolina Neighborhood

Dropping airborne combat vehicle using military parachute system.
Pingvin 121674 / Shutterstock


That’s what happened when military Humvee, weighing probably three tons, fell from the sky Wednesday afternoon after it was accidentally dropped from a C-17 Globemaster into a wooded area of a neighborhood in Cameron, North Carolina, WCSC-TV reported.

Marvin Krause, a Joint Base Charleston spokesman, told the television station that the incident happened about 1 p.m. when Globemaster III, which is assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, inadvertently dropped the vehicle outside of it test drop zone.

“The C-17 took off from Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on a routine airdrop test training mission and inadvertently dropped a U.S. Army Humvee vehicle prematurely over Cameron, North Carolina, approximately five miles from the Fort Bragg drop zone,” Krause said, per WCSC-TV.

WNCN-TV reported that the Humvee landed via parachutes in a wooded area of a neighborhood of the rural town in Harnett County. No injuries or damages were reported. The television station said several neighbors could only watch as the Humvee, supported by three parachutes drifted to the ground over their community.

“I thought maybe it was something from out of space,” James Grant, who lives in the neighborhood, told WNCN-TV with a laugh. “It didn’t hit anybody so everybody was kind of safe. We’re very glad of that.”

Fort Bragg officials told WNCN-TV they still do not know what happened to cause the heavy equipment training drop to go wrong but have started an investigation.

Soldiers marines patrolling on foot and escorted by a Humvee.
Soldiers, Marines patrolling on foot and escorted by a Humvee. Cineuno / Shutterstock

While media reports did not describe the Humvee, the gross weight of the M998 Humvee, which stands for High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, is roughly 7,700 pounds, according to the website Army Technology.

Humvees have been around since 1989 when they were first used in battle during Operation Just Cause, the U.S. invasion of Panama, according to the website. While the Army uses most the vehicles, Humvees have been issued to the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy as well.

Army Technology wrote that the Humvees were made to be air transportable where they can be dropped or sling-loaded by helicopters.

According to Boeing, the C-17 Globemaster is the aircraft of choice for such drops. It is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft that was made to transport large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.

Boeing said the C-17 has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation for the U.S. military since 1993. The American aircraft maker still provides sustainment and maintenance for global C-17 customers in eight allied countries.